Honestly, what next? Yes it is wonderful that the nutritional world has finally caught up and acknowledged what God always knew, that chocolate is beneficial, but why pills? The sheer luxury of chocolate soothes the soul. Why deny yourself the pure enjoyment of a beneficial piece of chocolate?
Dark chocolate contains valuable nutrients, that’s a given. Antioxidants also protect us against damaging free radicals because it is infused with disease-fighting flavonoids which boost the immune system. Some studies even claim that chocolate contains more flavonoids than any other food. Nice to speculate, but I don’t believe everything I read. In a huge world of nutritious choices, that statement could be debatable at any time. Granted chocolate might be, in its most unchanged form, but who is going to chow down on natural cocoa beans? Perhaps in this way, pills could be useful but why deny yourself the pleasure of mouthfeel?
It is factual, however, that dark chocolate will lower your blood pressure, thinning your blood and improving blood flow to the brain and heart. This makes blood platelets less sticky and able to clot. Two Italian studies discovered that participants who consumed 3.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily lowered their insulin resistance. Don’t you wish you could have participated in THAT study? This was probably due to chocolate’s high chromium content which regulates our insulin sensitivity. As Hippocrates noted, make food your medicine. “So take a square of Ghirardelli and call me in the morning.”
Dark chocolate increases the serotonin levels in our brain so if we are feeling depressed, we might find our brain’s hypothalamus subconsciously nagging us until we give in to this soothing, tranquilizing chemical ingredient. Our brain is recommending chocolate for our own good! If you are under the false belief that chocolate is bad for you, then you begin to feel guilty. That is why chocolate has erroneously been called a “guilty pleasure.” Chocolate contains the chemical phenylethylamine, which stimulates the same feelings as being in love. This chemical releases endorphins which make you feel happier, so now can you understand why you unconsciously run to chocolate for comfort?
Chocolate also contains potassium, magnesium, iron and copper which benefit heart function. Copper also allows our hair to remain its natural color longer and iron protects against anemia. Remember the old wives tale that consuming chocolate was bad for your teeth? Well, just the contrary; chocolate contains theobromine, which has been shown to harden tooth enamel.
The first cocoa beverage was simply ground cacao beans and water, enjoyed by the natives of South America. Enticing to me, who enjoys chocolate as dark as it gets, but it wouldn’t be to most people. The most beneficial antioxidants and flavonoids are found in chocolate containing 60% cacao or above, so strive to purchase these for increased health benefits.
Chocolate calories varies but one average piece of high quality dark chocolate contains approximately 55 calories, 5 grams of fat (3 grams of this is saturated = about 3/4 teaspoon) and also healthy monounsaturated fat. It even contains 1 gram of fiber. Vanilla will boost the flavor in dark chocolate without adding sugar. Forget purchasing white or even milk chocolate for it has fewer nutrients. And please understand that dark chocolate should be consumed in moderation.
Would I recommend chocolate pills? Only if chocolate is a trigger or addictive food; meaning you can’t stop at one piece. Otherwise enjoy God’s wonderful bounty and don’t waste your money.
“Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.” (Isaiah 55:2)